VW Group Tells Bentley to Post a Profit or Else

Volkswagen Group board members Wolfgang Porsche and Hans Michael Piech have warned Bentley that it must post a profit in the coming years or risk facing consequences.

Speaking to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wolfgang Porsche said that every VW Group brand must “generate a reasonable contribution margin.” Bentley hasn’t been doing that, however, and his patience is running out.

“That is not currently the case at Bentley, and we are not satisfied.”

“It can only be one to two years,” Piech said of the British luxury marque’s turnaround.

As Automotive News notes, Bentley lost 137 million euros, or roughly $157 million USD, in the first nine months of 2018. That compares with a slight profit over the same time period in 2017. The automaker also posted annual losses by year’s end in 2017, however.

Bentley faced steep hurdles in 2018 as it struggled to ramp up production of the new Continental GT and dealt with a falling British pound in the wake of Brexit. It was also too slow to certify its vehicles for the strict WLTP testing regime.

In a 2018 interview with Automotive News, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark said the company has a positive outlook for 2019 and wrote 2018 as a “conversion year.” The automaker could potentially post a profit at year’s end 2019, he indicated at the time.

Bentley recently showed off the convertible conversion of the 2019 Continental GT and has begun customer race team deliveries of its Continental GT3 car. It’s also working on an updated version of its Bentayga Plug-In Hybrid with a larger battery pack.

[source: Automotive News]